Thursday, 29 April 2010

What They Really Mean Anne Cassidy

I’ve been writing books for over twenty years. It took me a long time to discover a simple truth about the world of publishing. People don’t always mean what they say. Once I discovered this I felt a lot happier.
Here are a few examples.

What they say
You’re a cult writer

What they mean
You don't sell many books

You ms is the next on my pile to read
Not sure where it is at the moment and in any case I have lots of others to look at first.

You’re a particularly British writer
Your books don’t sell abroad

Your books are accessible
You’ll never win any prizes with them

Your writing style is spare
You are not literary

You’re good at promoting your own books
You’re way down on our list for promotion

You are a dependable writer
You never surprise us

You’re a successful writer with a huge backlist.
You’ve been around a few years too long.

You are hugely popular in libraries
Waterstone’s will only take the odd copy and forget about WHSmiths

You were nominated for the Carnegie!
You didn’t make the shortlist

Your books are complex
Teenagers won’t understand them

Anyone else had these experiences?


Joan Lennon said...

Your writing is quite sophisticated.

Quit showing off!

hilary said...

No discernible plot.

You've got the dates wrong.

Everyone in the office absolutely adores it.
Please cut 10,000 words, at least two characters and brace yourself for the cover art.

Nick Green said...

These are great, Anne!
(And no, that's not a precursor to another one of them.)

But here's one:

We thought it was so orginal.

It won't fit on anyone's list - forget it.

Of course, this is just one opinion.

HA! Seriously, forget it.

Nicky said...

I think I've had most of yours! Pleased I'm not alone.

Katherine Langrish said...

Spot on, Anne!

Mary Hoffman's Newsletter said...

Brilliant, Anne!

Keren David said...

Absolutely brilliant..

How about:

It's dark and gritty
= Where are the vampires?

Stroppy Author said...

This is super. I've had 'very fast-paced with lots of action' = your characterisation sucks

adele said...

Quite right, Anne. Every one of those is spot on! Wish I could think of another but my brain is in meltdown after a day of actual WRITING!

Sue Purkiss said...

Nice one, Anne! My brain's in meltdown after a day spent editing the SAS newsletter and on similar tasks, so can't think of any others - but these are good!

Jan Markley said...

my favourite feedback from a publisher was: no publisher will publish a book with the word dead in the title.


my debut novel is: Dead Frog on the Porch, the second in the series is: Dead Bird through the Cat Door

So there!

Miriam Halahmy said...

Just don't mention the word 'issues writer'!! I see red!

Katherine Roberts said...

Good one Anne... mind you, isn't this kind of thing along the lines of "James Bond will never sell"?
Nobody's perfect.

Celia Rees said...

Everyone in the office LOVES the cover!

Which means:

a) You are going to hate it

b) We are not going to change it